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As the author of Love, Care and Share, An Inspirational Message, I’m available to speak about my experiences as an author, story teller, and son of an amazing, generous woman who taught me to become a more giving, generous soul. Please read more about Love, Care and Share, throughout this website and suggest any specific perspectives on which you would like to interview me.
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Kogos: Movie to capture special mother’s life
“It’s never too late to finish something you started,” author Tom Herstad swears.
He’s visiting NYC from Toronto. Tom owns a business, Regal Lighting Designs in Toronto, and we’ve been friends since he attended the National Publicity Summit in New York, years ago, as a new author, bringing his newly finished book, Love, Care and Share. I’ve been a guest speaker at the Summit for years and love interviewing the new authors. I liked this enterprising Ontarian and cheerfully followed his progress with the new book.
Along the way, we became friends. I became Auntie Bonnie.
Taking me out for lunch this past week, we had a chance to catch up. Tom remembered. “My mother never turned anyone in need away. Two weeks after mom died, I was so sad that I got drunk on two bottles of wine and wrote a note in capital letters, ‘Mom, I’m going to write a book about you “¦ and it will become a movie one day.'”
And, it began to happen. Love, Care and Share became an autobiography/biography memoir about his exceptional mother, Mary Margaret Herstad (Margie), who raised her four children in Ontario, amidst widowhood at 38. Love, Care and Share is the result of a series of interviews among 18 people, conducted by Tom and his sister Julie, whose lives changed as a result of spending time with the Herstad family.
“It began by boarding the plane; I was seated next to a lady and her husband. We began to talk about her interior design business and my LED lighting design business in Toronto. ‘What else do you do, Tom,’ she asked me. I told her I was at the beginning of writing a book about my mother’s unique approach to life. Then Tanya Freeman told me that she was also a writing coach and independent publisher. Creative Hummingbird Results. When we landed, we went our separate ways.
“I sat on the beach, ate fresh lobster, stared at the ocean and was able to write. I had 68 pages finished. When I got back on the plane to fly home, Tanya and her husband, Austin, were seated beside me. I looked at Tanya and said, ‘This is no longer a coincidence.'”
She agreed and they began a deeper conversation: why write about his mother Margie?
“Bonnie, here’s one reason. At the end of my first year attending the Rochester Institute of Technology, coming home and entering my house, I found ladies’ clothing all over my room. I had been away at school for months. My mother stood behind me and whispered ‘Her name is Barbie. She needs that room more than you do right now. Your first year at university is under your belt, your grades are good, and you are on your way. This girl is not, and we have an opportunity to do something good for her. Know, Tommy, that I love you. But you need to make a decision; the spare bedroom or the couch?’
“I took the spare bedroom. Later, Barbie was able to mature and moved on into the movie industry as a prop specialist. That was my mother, always helping, whenever asked.
“When we landed, Tanya agreed to take the 68-page draft. Sixteen days later, she declared, “Tom, this is a unique story that must be told; I’m all in. Let’s go. Thwack.’ I took four months’ sabbatical from my lighting company and she coached me, with editing and format, and I published with Creative Hummingbird Results. What fun it was.
“Bonnie, it took three years to find everybody, remembering Margie with them, and completing the book,” he said. “After I studied at the National Publicity Summit in New York City, met you and other speakers, I returned to Toronto, and the book promotion became established.
“I was shocked when this reader came back to me, saying his family, who owns a company that finances books to movies, was eager to produce this as a movie. Bonnie, this six-foot-one person that I am, fell over,” Tom said, laughing. “I’m the student that attended the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York and never graduated, because I simply needed one English credit. In my hand, was the book I’d written, and now up to be made into a movie.
“My sister Julie is writing the screenplay construction. Next season, it will be cast.”
Tom sat back.
“So I sent a copy of Love, Care and Share to the Dean of Liberal Arts at RIT, who gladly accepted the book as an experience credit. This past Sept. 17, I met with the VP of Alumni affairs and I was presented with my college diploma. Thirty years later.”
When Tom’s son, Reigan, who has finished his second year at Humber, in film, and may work on this film about his grandmother to begin his career, came home.
Tom paused to breathe.
“I took him to my office to show him my own framed college graduation diploma with an alumni flag, hanging on the wall. ‘Thirty years later, son. It’s never too late to finish something you’ve started.”‘
I, Bonnie, have had the pleasure of getting to know Tanya over the past months. She’s a best-selling Canadian author. Under her pen name, Gloria Silk, she’s also a USA Today best-selling author of romantic fiction. Very selective with her projects, she loved working with Tom’s inspirational book. She runs FullBookServices.com to help make authors’ dreams become published reality.
So, what’s this Window Seat column all about?
Tom leans back, sighs and counts.
“One, it’s never too late to finish something you’ve started. Two, when you follow your heart and your dreams, the world can happen to you. Three, when you’re more committed to the journey, than control, maybe this is when life happens most. Four, when you make a commitment to make something happen, you can never focus on the fact that it hasn’t happened yet. It hasn’t happened yet; your road is still under construction. Five, when negative thoughts and self-doubt hijacked my inspiration, I walked in the woods and along the river, until I regained my journey.”
“I’m proud of you,” I say, and giggle. “In Toronto when the movie is being made, may I play the part of your Auntie in it?”
Tom Herstad laughs. “I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
Our Bonnie is delighted to continue her 26th year in the Window Seat. She wouldn’t have it any other way. Please find her at BonnieKogos@gmail.com
Above article is published here with permission from author, original was first published in Life section in The Sudbury Star on Sunday, 26 November, 2017
Please click here to connect with Tom Herstad with any questions or requests to speak at your organization or gathering.
Tom Herstad, Author of Love, Care and Share, speaks to:
Churches, Civic Groups, Professional Business Men and Women,
Colleges & Universities, special interest groups, etc.
My Topics Include:
- Margie’s story – to love another is a gift we give to ourselves
- What will be the legacy you leave?
- Rick, and Rosie – their common thread of Confidence
- How many people will be at your retirement party? The work legacy everyone will remember
- There are no coincidences – only God-incidents. Recognize and become the miracle.
And many other uplifting topics from the heart.
I invite your to watch the short book trailer in the sidebar. Please scroll down to see the latest article in the IFP and listen to the radio shows I have been interviewed on. There is also a high resolution photograph for your use.
As an entrepreneur who has been in the LED lighting business for over fourteen years, I’d also be glad to speak about the spiritual and practical benefits of being good to ourselves, the environment and leaving our natural habitat in better shape as a legacy to our children and the next generations. Read my latest post here.
Please read more about the amazing Book Launch in Norval, Ontario which took place on July 31st, 2016. Full details in this post and in the news article below: (I will also be posting about the great day in my next blog post in October after my upcoming Book Signings in Indigo Book Stores across Ontario.)
Tom Herstad, Local Author In the News: Read below or go to the Halton Hills online copy of the news article:
Some Radio Shows I have participated in so far:
Sports Doctor Radio – August, 2016
lba Alamillo, hypnotherapist talked self hypnosis & youth sports & Tom Herstad, “the LED lighting guy” discussing health & safety. Listen Now.
July 25, 2016: Talking about my LED lighting business and my book, Love, Care and Share – Visit the page and listen now
If you would like to interview me, I would be delighted.
Please contact me through the Contact Page, or email me: Contact@TomHerstadBook.com